What to Do with Frozen Pipes
During the winter season, one of the most common household problems that you will likely experience is having your pipes frozen. If you live in a cold climate, then you know that it is important to prevent frozen pipes. Frozen water pipes can cause extreme damage in your home and plumbing system if not stopped properly. The frozen water in your pipes will expand and begin to crack. Such cracks can trigger the bursting of frozen pipes, thereby causing tremendous damage to your house.
Experienced professionals believe that prevention is the primary method of stopping frozen pipes. The pipes that tend to freeze most frequently include: outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines, water supply lines in unheated areas and sewer pipes. The effects of frozen sewer pipes can be absolutely devastating. Thanks to modern plumbing, there are several ways to prevent plumbing frozen pipes. First, always drain the swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines. Second, remove, drain and store hoses that are used outside. Third, check around the area of the house for any
signs of frozen pipes. If you notice that there is no water flowing through a pipe, be sure to call a plumber immediately. Forth, hot and cold pipes should be insulated because hot water supply can also cause a frozen pipes burst. And lastly, keep the temperature set during both day and night, or apply heat cables to the pipe.
Thaw Frozen Pipes
If you suspect frozen pipes, the recommended course of action is to carefully inspect the surrounding area as soon as possible. In order to thaw frozen pipes properly, the suspected frozen area must be located in its entirety first. When thawing a frozen pipe, the running water through the pipe will actually help melt the ice. Be sure to keep the faucet open when you defrost frozen pipes.
Heating frozen pipes is often the best treatment. Apply heat to the entire section of the pipe that is frozen. You may use a towel and hot water to thaw the frozen pipe. Wrap the towel around the area and pour hot water on it. You can also use a hair dryer, a portable space heater or pipe thawing machines. However, do not use a blowtorch or any other open flame device to defrost frozen pipes. The blowtorch can make the water in the frozen pipes boil, causing the pipes to explode. Also keep in mind that open flame devices can cause a serious fire in your house. Do not put antifreeze on the water line. Antifreeze is dangerous to human, pets and the environment. For safety purposes during frozen pipes repair, it is best to hire plumbers.
If the frozen pipes are inaccessible or if you are unable to locate the frozen pipe area, call a professional right away. You need to have all frozen pipes defrosted because if one pipe is still frozen, the others may freeze too.
For increased protection, relocate all exposed water lines to prevent them from freezing. Additional insulation will also maintain high temperature and reduce the probability of your having frozen pipes.